Jürgen Hennig was born in 1951 in Stuttgart, Germany. He earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the Albert Ludwig Freiburg University. After one year of research as a fellow, he left for Switzerland where he undertook two years of postdoctorate study at the Department of physical chemistry of Zurich University. But he soon came back to Freiburg University to install a clinical MR institute at the Department of Radiology, where he headed research until 1992. He obtained full Professorship one year later.
In 1998 he was appointed Chairman of the section of Medical Physics of the service of diagnostic radiology, where he was appointed research Director three years later. The same year, he took the lead of the newly established 'Magnetic Resonance Development and Application Centre' (MRDAC) at Freiburg University. He has been Co-Chairman and Scientific Director of the Department of Radiology - Medical Physics at the University Hospital Freiburg since 2004.
Prof. Hennig's contribution to MRI has been crucial to the development of this modality. Under his leadership, the Freiburg MR research group has implemented new ideas and concepts for the use of MRI in a broad spectrum of applications. The measurement procedures they developed have since been implemented in all MRI devices worldwide, and are used for all MRI patient examinations. The core of their development work has been in the establishment of fast and ultra-fast MRI, the functional imaging of brain and heart, molecular imaging for the development of highly selective contrast agents, and in the use of MRI for the development and testing of new drugs.
These achievements have earned Jürgen Hennig the recognition of his peers and prestigious awards such as the European Magnetic Resonance Award, the Kernspintomographie Preis, and the Gold Medal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance. He notably served as President of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). Lately, he was honoured with the Max Planck Award in the category Medicine/Life Sciences and the Albers-Schönberg Medal of the German Radiological Society. In 2006 he was appointed Scientific Director of the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR). Last but not least, he has recently been chosen as one of the recipients of the coveted European Research Council (ERC)-Advanced Grants.
Over the years, Prof. Hennig has also shown a real commitment to sharing his knowledge with colleagues from all over the world, and has been striving to develop cooperation between Europe and other continents. In 1985 he installed the first whole body MRI system in China. In 2002 he was offered a Dunhill-Chair for Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. He is Chairman of the Academic Committee for the National MRI Brain Mapping Centre in Beijing and President of the European-Chinese Society for Clinical Magnetic Resonance. In 2003 he was awarded Honorary Membership by the Chinese Medical Society and Chinese Radiological Society. Finally, he is currently Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board 'Singapore Brain Imaging Centre', as well as a member of the Academy of Science of Tatarstan Republic.
He has been married since 1984 to Annemarie Hennig-Rüegg with whom he has two children, Julian and Olivia.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to radiology and his pioneering work in the use of MRI, Professor Jürgen Hennig will receive Honorary Membership of the European Society of Radiology at ECR 2009.